Why is the theme of the journey important in Latin and/or Greek literature?
7 Answers | Add Yours
The journey is important in Latin or Greek literature because the journey symbolic for life. The journey is rough at times, full of obstacles. The journey has sharp bends in the road which slows one down.
While traveling the journey of life, there are crossroads which cause one to anticpate which road is the right road. Sometimes one gets lost on this journey of life and detours often cause one to have to find another route.
The journey of life is a long one, hopefully, and all the obstacles create points to ponder. In refelction, the long journey has shaped one, molded one. The obstacles have taught one perseverance. The roadstops have taught us patience. The journey is worth the ride and the trip will be sweeter for every obstacle one has overcome.
Fianlly, the journey leads to home. No matter how long it takes, reaching one's destination is always sweet.
I don't think it is just important in Latin and Greek literature. I actually think the journey as a theme has come a sort of archetype that we see in many different kinds and types of literature, from epic classics such as The Odyssey to modern, contemporary classics, such as The Road. I think it is such an important theme because it is something that all of us can relate to. After all, all of us, to some extent or another, find ourselves on a journey, whether physical or metaphorical.
The concept of the "myth cycle" or the "heroes journey" is something that is prevalent in great deal of literature but does seem to stem from Greek and Roman myths. Even early British literature such as the poem "Beowulf" contains the prevailing element of the journey or the quest. Essentially, it is symbolic of the life cycle and of the path lives take. Each step along the way there are obstacles and challenges that lead us to the realization that the choices we make lead us to the final outcome. The point is for the hero to make choices along the way that place him in danger but to overcome them and become emotionally, physically, and morally stronger as a result. This is just like life!
In ancient Greece and in today's society, we do not value those who "settle down" as much as those who have left their footprints in the soils of many distant lands. We humans value adventurers over accountants. We all know that we will one day expire, so why commit to the page the story of our mundane existence? It is through stories such as The Odyssey that we can all vicariously live a life of adventure; even as we lay in our hammocks with a book in our laps.
The journey as allegory or parable is prevalent in the Greeks' literature. As such, then, it acts as part of the cultural tradtion There are many a lesson as well as adventures that teach readers very valuable life lessons and provide the country with national heroes.
One reason the theme of journey is important is that the hero's journey is a striking metaphor for life's journey. This is especially true of Homer's Odyssey in which Odysseus has both beneficial and harmful adventures in both dangerous and alluring circumstances. His journey's course mirrors the course of life that most people travel as well: trials, troubles, joys, thrills and backlash.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes